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Darwin Evolving Into A Tricky Exhibit

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the inherit-the-wind dept.

Education 1364

rbochan writes "The new Darwin Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History has 'failed to find a corporate sponsor in the United States because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution' according to articles at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, and The Register. The $US3 million needed for the exhibit was met by private charitable donations."

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1364 comments

Most disturbing..... (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093481)

Pathetic. I am much more willing to give my business to those companies that can take a stand. Furthermore, as a professor in the biosciences, I am especially troubled by stories like this. Perhaps even more disturbing is that this does not appear to be a news item covered in the mainstream US media. I had to learn about this first from Slashdot, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph and The Register, thanks to ~rbochan.

Arguably, much of our current understanding of biology and bioscience (development of drugs and antibiotics, medicine etc...etc...etc...) and many things that may surprise you are due to a fundamental understanding of biology. Try future developments in body armor, engineering, acoustics, propulsion and search algorithms on for size. All of those disparate fields have been influenced and guided by cross-polination from bioscience and ignoring or even worse, rejecting a scientific understanding of the world will only hold us back.

It is particularly ironic because one of the missions of the American Museum of Natural History is education of those very same individuals and corporations who are benefitting from decades of science education in the United States.

Religious extremism come in many flavors folks, and if we are not careful, we are going to lose our edge. Remember, this country is only a couple hundred years old. Those societies that have embraced education and science historically are those societies that survive.

Re:Most disturbing..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093605)

Uhh, name any society or traceable people group that has survived more than 4000 years and then look to see how that happened. It wasn't science.

Re:Most disturbing..... (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093629)

In the end, I'd much rather that companies don't take a stand. Not about evolution, not about politics, not about anything else. The fewer companies that throw their weight around for whatever reason, good or bad, the more our country moves towards something representative of the desires of the human beings who live here.

I'm sure that many of the same CxOs who refused to risk their company's image put their own money in the pot. Now if only they'd do the same for everything else.

You're in the minority. (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093633)

Unfortunately, you're in the minority. The aggregate spending by religious extremist rednecks most likely far, far exceeds that which you (and other intelligent people) spend. Even if you'd deal with a company that helped fund such an exhibit, it is quite plausible that they'd lose many times that gain if there were a boycott by the religious factions.

You are correct about the most long-lived civilizations placing an emphasis on education. That has been shown historically time and time again. Such civilizations fail when their focus switches from education and development towards combat and religious extremism.

It may not be a pleasant idea at first, but many academics should consider leaving the US for greener pastures. Many European and Asian countries would gladly welcome true scholars from America who wish to advance knowledge, rather than fool around with religious fundamentalism. The standard of living will most likely be acceptable, and the cultures often far more becoming of scientific progress.

Re:Most disturbing..... (0, Troll)

nharmon (97591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093646)

Only a bioscience professor could spin the abscence of donations into religious extremism. I am tired of that term being used for everything that is not athiest. Lets reserve it for things like 9/11 and the crusades, and keep the sensationism to Fox News and CNN.

Re:Most disturbing..... (1)

RagingChipmunk (646664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093650)

" Pathetic. I am much more willing to give my business to those companies that can take a stand." If a company witholds their funding because it may offend someone, they've already made their stand. Your opening statement tried to make some moral high ground, but its really a thinly veiled "...if the company sees it my way then I'll do business with them". "Religious extremism come in many flavors folks, and if we are not careful, we are going to lose our edge. Remember, this country is only a couple hundred years old" - Well said. You sound like a religous extremist with a chip-on-your-shoulder running loose in the streets yelling "The end is near! Fear! Doom!"

Re:Most disturbing..... (2, Insightful)

oliana (181649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093741)

No, if a company came forward and said, "We will not donate because we don't believe in evolution" that would be a stand.

Withholding funding because it might offend someone is the pansy-ass way to handle the situation.

Re:Most disturbing..... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093651)

Arguably, much of our current understanding of biology and bioscience (development of drugs and antibiotics, medicine etc...etc...etc...) and many things that may surprise you are due to a fundamental understanding of biology. Try future developments in body armor, engineering, acoustics, propulsion and search algorithms on for size. All of those disparate fields have been influenced and guided by cross-polination from bioscience and ignoring or even worse, rejecting a scientific understanding of the world will only hold us back.

But can bioscience take away my sin?

-Or- Is science the only discipline that matters any more? Is there no room for theology, philosophy, ethics? Science, oh great Science, is so wonderful that it can make humans life everlasting lives with empty souls.

Re:Most disturbing..... (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093671)

Religious extremism come in many flavors folks, and if we are not careful, we are going to lose our edge. Remember, this country is only a couple hundred years old. Those societies that have embraced education and science historically are those societies that survive.

Which would those be? I ask because I know of not one nation on Earth to be in continuous unbroken governance and structure since let's say the time of Troy. Nothing lasts forever, or even very long, where the species concerned has a deep-seated short attention span problem compared to their own history and more desire for individual thought than lockstep conformity at any cost which is more the sort of thing that would be required for them to have any given nation stay intact for three thousand years. That would be boring. Upheaval and change is in the nature of the people we're concerned with. So I wouldn't look towards survival of any given nation past a few hundred years as all that important.

Re:Most disturbing..... (1)

asb (1909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093699)

rejecting a scientific understanding of the world will only hold us back.

AFAIK the christian fundamentalists are not challenging scientific understanding as a whole. They challenging the way we think the universe got from zero to this point.

Re:Most disturbing..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093759)

I am much more willing to give my business to those companies that can take a stand.

Perhaps some of those companies ARE making a stand by NOT giving to the museum. Perhaps the owners/boards feel that Creationism is the truth.

Those societies that have embraced education and science historically are those societies that survive.

I don't see a lot of the Roman Empire around these days...

Re:Most disturbing..... (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093795)

We are losing our edge.

Just look at the top 10% of the graduating classes.

And we call the muslims religious extremists? Isn't that ironic?

Is religious background of political candidates becoming more important these days? The constitution doesn't seperate religion from government, but Church and State, so don't start on that bandwagon. But it is worrisome that ones religious background is becoming more of an issue every day.

BLASPHEMY!!!! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093813)

Don't you just love intelligent design, such flawless logic!!! Reminds me of this ever more relevant excert from one of the great movies of all time:

BEDEVERE:
        Tell me. What do you do with witches?
CROWD:
        Burn! Burn them up! Burn!...
BEDEVERE:
        And what do you burn apart from witches?
VILLAGER #1:
        More witches!
VILLAGER #2:
        Wood!
BEDEVERE:
        So, why do witches burn?
        [pause]
VILLAGER #3:
        B--... 'cause they're made of... wood?
BEDEVERE:
        Good! Heh heh.
CROWD:
        Oh, yeah. Oh.
BEDEVERE:
        So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
VILLAGER #1:
        Build a bridge out of her.
BEDEVERE:
        Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
RANDOM:
        Oh, yeah. True. Uhh...
BEDEVERE:
        Does wood sink in water?
VILLAGER #1:
        No. No.
VILLAGER #2:
        No, it floats! It floats!
VILLAGER #1:
        Throw her into the pond!
CROWD:
        The pond! Throw her into the pond!

BEDEVERE:
        What also floats in water?
VILLAGER #1:
        Bread!
VILLAGER #2:
        Apples!

VILLAGER #3:
        Uh, very small rocks!
VILLAGER #1:
        Cider!
VILLAGER #2:
        Uh, gra-- gravy!

VILLAGER #1:
        Cherries!
VILLAGER #2:
        Mud!
VILLAGER #3:
        Uh, churches! Churches!

VILLAGER #2:
        Lead! Lead!
ARTHUR:
        A duck!
BEDEVERE:
        Exactly. So, logically...

VILLAGER #1:
        If... she... weighs... the same as a duck,... she's made of wood.
BEDEVERE:
        And therefore?
CROWD:
        A witch! A witch!...

Re:Most disturbing..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093815)

Countries that embrace freedom survive, the rest is inheirant.

The Theory of Electron Behavior (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093487)

Doesn't stop companies from sponsoring computer exhibits.

Sad but not surprising.

Extinction (1)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093490)

Maybe they don't want to repeat the performance of the dinosaurs.....

You say it like it's a bad thing... (4, Insightful)

XorNand (517466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093500)

The $US3 million needed for the exhibit was met by private charitable donations.
IMHO, the arts and sciences should be supported by private donations, not corporate sponsors. Professional sports have been utterly ruined by sponsorship. I'd hate to see the arts go down the same drain, esp. in situations like this. Can you imagine Dali being turned down by a gallery who said his work might not fit the status quo as dictated by Standard Oil? (yes I know he was Spanish) Sometimes good art and good science fly in the face of public opinion. Institutions who increasingly seek more and more of their budget from corporations are doing an extreme disservice to themselves and to the public.

Re:You say it like it's a bad thing... (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093553)

IMHO, the arts and sciences should be supported by private donations, not corporate sponsors.

There goes fusion research.

Re:You say it like it's a bad thing... (2, Interesting)

JavaSavant (579820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093660)

Eh, corporate sponsorship IS a private donation. Usually, corporate sponsors will simply ask for their brand to be displayed prominently in advertising for the given attraction.

I think what you're searching for here is "anonymous donors," which is silly. Hell, even here in Boston we have the Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni Theatre - fantastic features of the Boston Museum of Science that were built and are supported by the foundations which they are named after. The only reason these philanthropists can do what they do is because the causes they support feature their names prominently, and the notariety filters back to them in the form of support, assistance, and respect by the public. ,p> The money has to come from somewhere, and outside of an independently wealthy individual who seeks nothing but the ability to see these kinds of spectacles on display to the public, something needs to be provided in exchange for or in appreciation of the funding received typically. You'll have a hard time finding people, no matter how generous they may be, who are willing to displace a large chunk of their finances for no recognition. They sponsor these events for the same reason companies do.

Agenda..... (-1, Troll)

scrout (814004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093514)

Uh, as long as the exhibit is accurate in that Darwin had an anti-religous agenda.

Re:Agenda..... (3, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093587)

Uh, as long as the exhibit is accurate in that Darwin had an anti-religous agenda.

Care to back that up with some evidence (from sources other than the creationist research orgs)?

Re:Agenda..... (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093682)

You are a retard.

Both evolution and Darwin himself are silent on the topic of religion.

It falls outside of the scope of his work.

Re:Agenda..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093781)

Don't see much for backing that up yet.

If you've ever actually done any looking into the area you would see that Darwin himself didn't not strongly champion his theory of evolution.

For those without a clue train ticket, the Darwin's theory of evolution does not have to be at odds with modern religion. It was placed there by the puritanical christianity strains in this country of ours, they always have to have something to yell about. Don't see it happing much in other, overwhelmingly christian countries now do you.

Re:Agenda..... (3, Informative)

Fafnir43 (926858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093789)

Check before you post next time. Darwin was Christian [wikipedia.org] - and literalist, at that - for most of the time he was working on his theory. Even after he renounced Christianity in 1851, he was more of an agnostic than anything else. He even kept helping with parish work - hardly the actions of someone with an "anti-religious agenda".

Re:Agenda..... (2, Interesting)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093793)

He had an anti-religious agenda? Great! I like this guy more and more! I mean, we all know that religion in all it's forms is a bunch of bullshit. Staggering, blatant bullshit. Bullshit of the highest order!

I hope these Christian idiots cry out more and more because we're finally starting to see what these people really are. The more they bellow out, the more intelligent people will just shake their heads and move on with their lives. This will be the death-nell for religion and it's about time. It's time for these idiots to grow up and stop believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and God and for them to STAY THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE. I was one for tolerance. For letting people do what they wish and believe in what they wish in the privacy of their own homes. But now this minority...yes they're in a minority...of Christian assholes is now effecting my life, and in a very negative way.

It's time we take anyone that's religious and start treating them as if they had a mental illness. Stop giving these morons any air-time. Who the fuck cares if Billy Graham(and no, I don't care if I spelled his name right) had a vision about this country. If you have visions, that's an illness! Don't you get it? If God talks to you, you need to be on medication.

Yes, I know I'm going to be modded down to flame or troll or whatever. I don't care. I'm sick of this shit.

Well... (4, Interesting)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093519)

I guess some zealots just won't trust anything that comes from Apple. Sad, really. :)

Seriously, I don't know many Christians, even young-earth creationists, who'd actively go after companies that promoted this exhibit. Jerry Falwell's group might bitch a bit, but they do that anyway.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093705)

I agree. I'm a Christian, and a Creationist (day-age is what I lean towards), but I have no problem with an exhibit on Darwin, and I wouldn't boycott a company that sponsored it. Darwin did have some good ideas - I think he may have extrapolated too far, but that doesn't change the fact that microevolution is a well proven and useful scientific theory that has contributed a good bit to our current knowledge of life. I'd have to see the actual content of the exhibit to judge it, but most of the misinformation out there isn't about Darwin, it's about what came after him (Miller-Urey experiment, for example, which is still in bio textbooks after being proven useless).

Re:Well... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093794)

Miller-Urey experiment, for example, which is still in bio textbooks after being proven useless

I would dearly love for you to explain this. Are you aware of what the experiment was trying to demonstrate? Are you aware that abiogenesis research has well, come a good distance since those heady days?

Re:Well...Apple did it! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093735)

I guess some zealots just won't trust anything that comes from Apple.

What are you talking about? They blame the Apple for all the problems we now face.

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093799)

I guess some zealots just won't trust anything that comes from Apple.

Well sure. Ever since Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they've been suspicious of all fruits.

Way to go! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093524)


Great job, US! Let's get to work killing any remanents of a scientific culture in our country!

What? We're bleeding tech jobs already? We should be trying like hell to KEEP these sinners who have all the ideas in our country? Why? What possible reason do we have to be anything but a low-income prison colony?

The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (2, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093526)


From the Register article:
Growing numbers of Americans support the idea of teaching creationism in schools, and in a recent CBS News poll, 51 per cent of respondents said they rejected the idea of evolution

Absolutely shameful. I'm almost ashamed to be a Christian...and I'm definitely ashamed of being an American. Exactly when was it that my country decide to abdicate rationality in favor of wanton superstition, reprehensible pseudoscience, and gross ignorance? Or was America ever rational to begin with?

I may sound rather strident on this issue, but as you'll understand, this hits rather close to home. You see, in my church there is a Sunday school class where ID is being taught as a viable alternative to evolutionary theory. Every time I hear the teacher talking about such intellectually bankrupt concepts as 'irreducible complexity' I want to scream, but I'm not sure how to approach this without alienating the rest of the church. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (4, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093570)

Maybe ask them why they're opposed to evolution when even the pope (both the current one and the last one) accepts it.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093623)

Maybe you are coming close to the idea of rejecting sky-fairies ? Welcome.

Do you believe in ghosts, ESP, Fairies, Leprechauns, Gnomes ?

Steve

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (4, Informative)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093690)

Carries no weight with them, insofar as the vast majority of people likely to raise a stink about this kind of thing are evangelicals and not Catholics - in fact, there's a certain amount of overlap between anti-evolution folks and anti-Catholic folks. For them, the fact that the Church does not require a literal reading of Genesis of Catholics is just one more piece of evidence that the RC Church is the Whore of Babylon. All kinds of worms under that particular rock...

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093704)

They might not be Catholic. The Pope believes a lot of things that non-Catholics disagree with.

That is hardly helpful... (2, Insightful)

rk (6314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093785)

When debating with many sects of American Protestantism, whose views of Roman Catholicism range from suspicion to abject hatred.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (2, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093610)

I don't find someone believing in young-earth Creationism, or even teaching it to their kids, to be offensive. As long as they don't try to smother any other opinions. Atheists are often guilty of the latter as well, I've noticed.

I had a similar situation at my church, and I pretty much just stated what I believe in a non-offensive manner, and no one freaked out or anything. One or two people argued with me a bit, but nothing big. Unless you go to a VERY conservative church, you shouldn't have any problems...The fundamental part of Christianity is belief in God and Jesus and love for your fellow man, not how many days it took to create the world and mankind.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (-1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093689)


What I find offensive is that the ID proponents are attempting to pass off their belief system as a valid scientific theory, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I have no problem with other people believe, but I do have a problem with them dresing up their belief as science and attempting to smuggle it into public schools. I also have a problem with children being exposed to this poison, severely impairing their ability to think rationally for perhaps the rest of their lives.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093618)

Polls get overstated all the time- and this CBS poll was most certainly distorted in both results and leading questions. Another possible interpretation of the *same poll* could lead you to believe 75% of Americans support evolution and 51% dispute the idea of spontaneous genesis.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093656)

I want to scream, but I'm not sure how to approach this without alienating the rest of the church. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Write a 95-parts manifesto in favor of evolution and hammer it on the door of your Church. Hey, it worked for Luther :)

Yes, I'm serious. Fundamentalist christians need to stop taking the Bible literally. If you need to alienate the most extremists at your church to make a point, then DO IT!

You need to preach Science to those zealots. After all, Jesus was NOT scared of the zealots in the synagogues.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (0, Flamebait)

TurdTapper (608491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093821)

How in the world could you be a Christian and not take the Bible literally? If you don't think that what is in the Bible is literal, you CAN'T be a Christian.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093666)

"Absolutely shameful. I'm almost ashamed to be a Christian...and I'm definitely ashamed of being an American."

Why? These are individuals, who happen to share a country. They are linked by geography, nothing more. What is it about being an "American" that you are ashamed of?

And more importantly, why do you generalize these traits to all Americans? Are you going to try to make the point that Americans in LA are the same as Americans in Decatur, Ga? Please do, I bet that will be interestng reading.

And the worst? You fell for a poll, by CBS! It's a POLL! From CBS! Holy crap man, what is wrong with you allowing yourself to be intellectually manipulated like that?

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (0, Troll)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093667)

I guarantee every single one of the 51 percent is a so-called Christian. Your country decided to abdicate rationality when it decided that spouting ridiculous Christian fantasies was more important.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093744)

I guarantee every single one of the 51 percent is a so-called Christian.

You would be wrong. The vast majority would be, but of course Islamic creationism is quite alive and well, even in this country - that Harun Yahya nutjob was invited to testify before the Kansas Board of Education during their hearings on the ID nonsense.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093673)

I'd start by pointing out examples from history where science gradually was accepted as the truthful explanation of something that used to be chalked up to divine intervention. Galileo's explanations of basic astronomy is a good example.

Be the person you want to be. Be yourself.

If this alienates the rest of your church then perhaps its worth forging a clean break now rather than suffering in silent rage for the next twenty years. That level of internal stress is very bad for your health. When you do ask for your church to be a bigger tent then my guess is that a lot of other people in the church will be relieved.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

delong (125205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093692)

Exactly when was it that my country decide to abdicate rationality in favor of wanton superstition, reprehensible pseudoscience, and gross ignorance?

What do we really expect when people are fed a steady diet of superstition on TV? What are some of the most popular youth TV shows - Buffy, Charmed, Supernatural, etc. Take a flip around the dial - ghost "documentary" shows abound. Combine that with lousy science ed and a general lack of critical thinking instruction in schools and you get messy heads.

As to your church teaching ID - that's where it belongs. No one should be teaching faith in science class, and it is a church's perogative to not teach science in classes about faith. That, IMO, is the proper division.

I am equally discouraged by the alarmist "bible thumpers taking over America!" rhetoric from some corners. The people that are irrationally opposed to religious viewpoints are just as nutty as those that are irrationally opposed to non-religious viewpoints.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (4, Interesting)

Prospero's Grue (876407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093730)

Every time I hear the teacher talking about such intellectually bankrupt concepts as 'irreducible complexity' I want to scream, but I'm not sure how to approach this without alienating the rest of the church. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

"A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don't have a place within an organized religion." -From The Simpsons

So, that's a glib answer, but when it comes right down to it, I'm hard pressed to agree they're doing anything wrong.

Personally, I'm an atheist, and a believer in the scientific process. ID, in my view, is a load of claptrap. And while I might join you in rolling my eyes as a Sunday school goes on about such unscientific nonsense as "irreducible complexity", you must understand I have a similar reaction when someone goes on about a virgin birth - and I suspect you would not share my contempt, then.

If people want to argue vociferously that faith-based concepts like ID should not be taught in science class (and I agree they should not), then it's hard to get too worked up when they teach them in church. I won't condemn a church for teaching ID within their walls, any more than I would condemn them for the host of other un-scientific explanations and teachings they offer.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093736)

You're no Christian. And for your information, bigot, many people of all religious faiths reject evolution too.

There is a better theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093743)

There is a better theory, oh yes there is:

  The universe was created one attosecond ago. With all beings, you & me, their intelligence and their memory, all the carbon dated materials, and your conscience of the present message.
  The controversy about creationism or evolution, is of course, just part of this attosecond creation, and you could better put your energy in considering why He chose to create this controversy as part of our last-attosecond-universe, rather than participate in the debate.

Ok, nuf said. prove me wrong buddy.

NB: read my lips: _no_ _bush_

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093758)

Every time I hear the teacher talking about such intellectually bankrupt concepts as 'irreducible complexity' I want to scream, but I'm not sure how to approach this without alienating the rest of the church.

My suggestion: alienate the rest of the church. There is no shortage of churches in the US, and I'm sure you can find one that has a more rational view of God's nature than ID. If you're a young person going to a family church, you can hold your breath for a bit until you're out from under your parent's wings before choosing a church of your own.

There may be costs to such a stand. It might cut your ties with a communal organization that you have a long-established place in. If so, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to bear those costs to take action in defense of the truth and the scientific process that is the only known way of knowing anything like the truth.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093771)

It sounds like you are having issues with your beliefs because you see the fallacies in them. The Christians have had to come up with all kinds of new theories to go against Darwinism because up until then they just strictly interpreted the Bible. Now we have the Bible and all the ad-libbing that goes along with it to try and explain the inconsistencies between reality and the history of the world as presented by the stories in the Bible.

Re:The Dumbing-Down Of America, part XXVII (1)

corngrower (738661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093800)

The question is, do you really want to be part of such a congregation?


I think I'ld start by informing select individuals that evolutionary theory does not have any real problems, that there is very strong evidence for the theory, and that most criticisms of the theory simply aren't true.


The idea that there is such a thing as 'macroevolution' is simply conjecture. The 'irreducible complexity' stuff is the same. Given the nearly uncountable number of possible development paths that could have been taken in the development sequence for a current species makes the validity of irreducible complexity very highly unlikely.

Debate? (5, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093528)

Sorry, there's an actual debate going on?

As in those presenting the current crop of alternate theories have a leg to stand on? This is really news to me.

Re:Debate? (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093784)

Unfortunately they do have a leg to stand on: the leg of public opinion. If the public accepts them, regardless of evidence, there is a debate, because the public wants it.

A stupid debate, but a debate never the less.

Paypal? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093538)

The way this was written, I almost expected there to be a PayPal link at the end. On the otherhand, this is one such cause I wouldn't mind being advertised to about since it is an important exhibit in these scientifically challenged times.

Here's the ticket (5, Funny)

Chickenofbristol55 (884806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093555)

'failed to find a corporate sponsor in the United States because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution'

I think Darwin's theory needs to evolve to survive in its ever changing environment.

Jesus Christ! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093556)

This is God damn rediclious!

Re:Jesus Christ! (2, Funny)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093663)

Isnt rediclious a type of apple?

Why not big pharma? (5, Insightful)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093557)

They need a trained workforce that understands biology and chemistry. If the religious wack jobs can't handle it, let them boycott the latest antibiotics. After all, bacteria don't evolve, right?

Re:Why not big pharma? (0, Flamebait)

tscheez (71929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093588)

no, they evolve, but they remain a bacteria.

show me a bacteria that has become a fish

Re:Why not big pharma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093662)


How many millions of years is your lifespan again?

Yeah, sorry. Things that take longer than the 2 minute commercial break are kind of hard to deal with, eh?

Re:Why not big pharma? (1)

rasactive (528598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093675)

give me a billion years

Re:Why not big pharma? (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093702)

show me a bacteria that has become a fish

Go fishing.

Catch a fish.

There you go.

(Okay, that was a flip answer. Here's a serious one.)

The timescale for major evolutionary change in multicellular life is so enormous that we're not going to see bacteria evolving into fish. However, I've noticed that when creationists use this argument, which turns up in many different forms, they have no idea how diverse microbial life actually is. When you say "they evolve, but they remain a bacteria," I think you have no idea just how different from each other various forms of bacteria actually are. There's more difference, in fact, between various strains of bacteria that we have observed evolving into each other than there is between a fish and a human being.

Re:Why not big pharma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093811)

Then answer this, smart guy.

Show me a single-celled organism evolve into a multi-celled organism.

There are these leaps in evolution that requires some magical altering of how life works at all that evolution just can't explain. How did fish start living on the land? How did birds start flying? How did fish start walking? You can't expect anyone to believe that you have flowers that rely on bees to fertilize them and bees that rely on flowers to feed on that have managed to "evolve" from some roots. You really expect us to believe that bees and flowers evolved to depend on each other from some common ancestor?

Re:Why not big pharma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093706)

*points to every fish on Earth*

Re:Why not big pharma? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093708)

Now strawmen are modded Insightful? Sounds like some of the moderators must have flunked biology.

Re:Why not big pharma? (1)

NialScorva (213763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093764)

Bacteria are a phylum or a kingdom (if you mean all monerans). Your statement of "they remain a bacteria" implies that you're ok with saying "a catfish evolved into a person" (both in chordate phylum) or "a flatworm evolved into a cow" (animal kingdom). "Just a bacteria" is about the most ignorant anti-evolution statement you can make.

Re:Why not big pharma? (1)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093783)

Sure, got a billion years?

Re:Why not big pharma? (1)

TheHornedOne (50252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093807)

OK, are you trolling or are you *actually* this willfully ignorant and/or stupid?

Here's a silly thought (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093558)

What about making a balanced exhibit that companies CAN support without losing business, and letting people viewing the exhibit come to their own conclusions? I personally would find a Scofield/Darwin/Coppe exhibit to be very enlightening- even if I think the evidence behind Darwin (Spontaneous Genesis) and Coppe (Intelligent Design) would knock Scofield (Young Earth Creationism) all hollow (but then again, that's how it should be isn't it, since this is in historical order of theories proposed?)

Re:Here's a silly thought (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093622)

Any "balanced" exhibit would come down firmly on the side of Darwin to the total exclusion of the others. Both ID and Young Earth creationism are so full of crap that there's no way to present them accurately and scientifically without alienating the creationist (including ID) crowd. Asking for a "balanced" Darwin exhibit that gives fair play to creationism is like asking for a "balanced" Hubble exhibit that gives fair play to astrology.

Re:Here's a silly thought (-1, Flamebait)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093722)

Any "balanced" exhibit would come down firmly on the side of Darwin to the total exclusion of the others. Both ID and Young Earth creationism are so full of crap that there's no way to present them accurately and scientifically without alienating the creationist (including ID) crowd. Asking for a "balanced" Darwin exhibit that gives fair play to creationism is like asking for a "balanced" Hubble exhibit that gives fair play to astrology.

You just gave good proof why the Coppe/Coyne ID needs to be presented; you're stupid enough to believe that it's creationism. It is possible to present their views "accurately" without being "scientific"- http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ [roadsideamerica.com] has quite a list of museums that do exactly that without presenting evolution. And unlike you, I don't have a problem with pictures from the Hubble Telescope being presented right beside an exhibit that gives fair play to the math used in astrology, because I'm not a bigot.

Re:Here's a silly thought (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093655)

even if I think the evidence behind Darwin (Spontaneous Genesis)

There is nothing in Origin of the Species that discusses abiogenesis.

and Coppe (Intelligent Design)

What evidence exists for ID?

And I am not talking about *negative* evidence (i.e., "it is just too complex to explain otherwise"). I am asking for a postive assertion of evidence that supports ID.

Also, I would appreciate a concise definition of 'irreducible complexity' in scientific terms.

Re:Here's a silly thought (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093753)

Many good scientific theories have begun as "this is too complicated to be explained thusly"

Think relativity.

Gravity, as it is taught in most highschools is complete fiction. That said, the numbers work, more or less, at a certain level of resolution so we use them.

When a grand unified theory of everything that is testable emerges, I'll bite my tongue. Lack of testability doesn't stop the design of new hypotheses in the mean time.

"Evolution doesn't seem complete to me" is a perfectly valid statement. Just because evolution seems correct at a certain resolution doesn't mean its correct, just maybe the most correct we've got so far. Telling nay-sayers to shut up is just silly, since its usually done by those claiming to be critical thinkers.

Re:Here's a silly thought (1)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093658)

Because Intelligent Design isn't science, it is religion. There is no basis for it that can be tested. Without being able to be tested, it isn't science.

  -Charles

Re:Here's a silly thought (1)

oliana (181649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093679)

Well, for one, faith-based intelligent design is not natural history and therefore not worthy to be in a natural history museum. It's story telling to convince people to be good little boys an girls so that they are not punished.

Re:Here's a silly thought (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093803)

I can think of two objections off the top:

(1) It's the museum of *natural* history. It's permissible to believe in supernatural history, but it's a category error to suppose that supernatural history deserves a place alongside natural history. It's a bit like demanding that, say, computer stores should sell nutritious meals, because nothing is more important than nutrition.

(2) Rightly or wrongly, creationism and intelligent design are extreme minority viewpoints within the scientific community, and the museum, with limited resources, should concentrate on the scientific mainstream. In this respect, they are no different than the National Gallery showing paintings whose importance lies in their position in mainstream painting history, or the Air and Space museum concentrating on historically important air and spacecraft.

I have a more visceral objection, myself, which however is less defensible, namely that "balance" is not, in and of itself, a virtue. If it were, you'd never get past the flat-earthers and holocaust deniers and creationists and zero-point energy enthusiasts.

Quick, someone link to the Summon Bevets Card! (2, Funny)

MandoSKippy (708601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093559)

Does Bevets have a /. user?

Darwin Exhibit huh (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093596)

Darwin Exhibit, huh. Does it include the evolution of DRM on audio CD's, and the roadkill *coughSonycough* along the way?

This just says something sad about America (4, Interesting)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093611)

None of the high tech companies can belly up to the bar and pick up the tab? That's just sad. I especially think the biotech companies have a duty to pick sides here. Where would some of them be without genetic engineering, proof of evolution if I've ever seen it? Genzyme, Biogen I'm looking at you! Or a company like Intel. What are christians going to give up computers because a chip maker sponsored the right side of the debate? Not after what the Vatican just said. [yahoo.com] So a small handful of fanatics clinging to dogma are going to push us all around with threats of boycots. I believe that's part of the definition of terrorism.

Re:This just says something sad about America (1)

Dadoo (899435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093778)

What are christians going to give up computers because a chip maker sponsored the right side of the debate? Not after what the Vatican just said.

Sorry, but many (probably a majority) of the people who believe in ID don't believe Catholics are Christian. Most likely, your URL means nothing to them. (Don't ask me why. That's just what I've noticed, following this debate.)

Making Evolution palatable to Fundamentalist Chris (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093627)

$sys$Evolution.

Now only the geeks will learn about it.

Re:Making Evolution palatable to Fundamentalist Ch (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093693)

Now we just need to devise a way to use such occult knowledge to take advantage of the ignorant...

As a devout christian... (2, Interesting)

sinner6 (884407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093635)

I am quite embarrased to count these people in my faith. Also I would like to point out that the pope has stated that the Bible is completely compatable with evolution.

Re:As a devout christian... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093754)

"the pope has stated that the Bible is completely compatable with evolution"

Except for the whole Genesis part. I don't understand people who call themselves Christians but don't believe the Bible. If you don't believe it then quit calling yourself a Christian. Of course, I understand how convenient it is to pick out the parts of the Bible that you like and ignore the rest - but that is making up your own religion. If you're going to do that, please make up a new name for it too.

Fundmentalists and Fundamentalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093639)

It is the same cloth worn by those who would destroy buildings and kill innocents (see Fallujah, New York, etc.) as that of those who would seek to destroy the most life-giving force in the modern world: science and the (modern medicines and medical) miracles provided by science. But, to be fundamentalist, means you cannot accept that knowledge, in all of its forms, is postitive rather than negative. Dissent and other evidence-based forays into being a rality-based human being, cannot live in the same room as the fundamentalist, for the fundamentalist seeks to destroy and hate that (knowledge) which threatens his (or her) fundamentalism.

If you are a fundamentalist (you support Bush), then ask yourself why you got a vaccine shot this flu season? Ask yourself why you visited your state-licensed medical doctor this year? Ask yourself why you allow your dentist to place a gel of fluoride mineral upon your teeth once a year? You do trust in science but somehow you support the most anti-science politician to be seen in recent years. For shame. For shame upon you and the darkness you seek to spread.

A/C (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093640)

Sponsored by [Anonymous Coward]

TagaDung TaGaDung !!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093645)

ooooh GOD can't you people see where this is heading,

The End of Science has come.

Apocalypse monk

other religions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093654)

so did the bhuddist fundamentalist support it? what about the muslims and hinduists? why single out one religion? troll!

The Real Problem Here (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093698)

The real problem to the Fundamentalist Christians is not that Evolution is wrong -- but that it's right!

You can ignore what's wrong without worry. It's a lot harder to ignore what you know is right. It's a lot more likely that the dinosaurs are millions of years old, rather than that the entire Earth was created only 8K years ago and God put the fossils there to confound the unbelievers.

Trying to remove the only theory that actually has some evidence to support it from discussion overall, or elevate truly unproven speculations to having equal weight, only confuses children -- and harms the nation's future.

The problem with the exhibit (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093700)

...is that it was not intelligently designed.

If they had only put a picture of Michaelangelo's 'Creation of Adam' instead of crusty ole Darwin, the money would have come pouring in.

Imagine the creationist's surprise when they find out that God is a woman in a surgeon's uniform.

Suggested reading: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000D4FE C-7D5B-1D07-8E49809EC588EEDF [sciam.com]

Evolution is Theory After All (-1, Troll)

mitcharoni (222957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093710)

There's no denying that evolution is far from established fact and is fundamentally a theory with PLENTY of holes and unanswered questions. To me I see those zealots who accept evolution as fact in the same light as how *they* perceive Christians and Christianity: mindless minions of bad logic and reasoning. It just seems like evolutionists want to skip a whole bunch of steps and not do the actual science required to figure out if the evidence supports their theory or not. That's the scientific method, folks. You never PROVE anything: you have evidence that either supports or doesn't support your theory.

Re:Evolution is Theory After All (5, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093808)

There's no denying that evolution is far from established fact and is fundamentally a theory with PLENTY of holes and unanswered questions.

As to the mechanism of evolution, yes there is debate in the scientific commmunity. As to whether evolution has occurred, there is no debate in the scientific community.

To me I see those zealots who accept evolution as fact in the same light as how *they* perceive Christians and Christianity: mindless minions of bad logic and reasoning.

So you reject the notion that there is any evidence for the *fact* that evolution has occurred?

Explain why there are so many shared genes between species. In fact, the human genome is one big code sharing exercise.

It just seems like evolutionists want to skip a whole bunch of steps and not do the actual science required to figure out if the evidence supports their theory or not.

What steps have they skipped?

That's the scientific method, folks. You never PROVE anything: you have evidence that either supports or doesn't support your theory.

And you haven't done anything to support your position other than flap your arms around wildly.

Show us the holes in evolution. Show us where steps have been missed. Show us how YOU would apply the scientific method any differently to, say, the theory of gravity.

"Darwin" is the new "Satan" (1)

apflwr (930636) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093717)

Unfortunately, Darwin is no longer an inquisitive scientist (and Christian) who went to the Galapagos islands a century or so ago and postulated some theories about how we came to be... He's, uh, "evolved" into a symbol of pure evil to the Born Agains.

Like the cartoon says...

http://www.nunchux.com/matthew/Darwinwrong.gif [nunchux.com]

Nothing ever really changes (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093760)

This whole debate is not about evolution in the sense of physical evolution, but mental evolution. It can be proven fairly conclusively that organisms evolve (anyone who has ever dabbled with fruit flies knows this). Darwin called it the "Theory" of Evolution because when it was proposed, that's exaclty what it was, a theory. A theory which has been verified through many thousands of experiments and observations.

But while it appears that the physical mechanism of evolution works well to shape and adapt an organism to its environment, the same cannot be said for mental evolution. The mind is a tricky thing. The most sophisticated computer you will ever find, but it can play tricks upon itself, believe in contradictory statements (Captain Kirk was famous for defeating computers with illogical statements, but his brain was perfectly capable of handling them), and send false impressions/sensations to the body.

Evolution on the mental scale belongs to the individual. Knowledge is the fuel that is poured on the fire of mentality to make it possible for us to reason and dream and grow. Despite that, there are those who douse their flames with idolatry, obstinance, and ignorance. What they "believe" is more important that what "is." And down that path lie pride, bigotry, and fear-mongering.

Do I beleieve in God? Sure. Why not? I haven't seen any other theories out there as to where everything came from. Why not believe in some supernatural being, until such time as we have something more concrete? But don't let that belief blind you to reality and the wonders it holds. As I tell people, who says God couldn't have created Adam and Eve through evolution? Where do Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson get off telling God how he should run his universe? Seems like the ultimate sin of hubris to me.

I'll bet you liberal ninnies -- (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093774)

hate fundamamentalist Christians more than you hate fundamentalist Islamists. Who presents the greater threat to you? But you always vehemently attack us Christians for wanting to maintain some semblance of a moral nation while you sit mute while the Islamists try to completely destroy it. Way to have your priorities in line, geniuses.

Shame on the USA (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093798)

Does the suffering of Gallileo [wikipedia.org] mean nothing at all to you?

The whole thing (1, Insightful)

SilverspurG (844751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14093805)

The whole thing is a troll. It's no different than the global warming debate. There are some extremists on both sides. There is some common data which everyone agrees upon in the middle. There are people who interpret the data to mean different things in all corners.
because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution'
They're right that they haven't been able to find funding but making the blanket claim that it's due to apprehension of Darwin vs. Creationism vs. Intelligent Design is pure bull. The three explanations aren't even at odds unless someone's being so enormously thick as to ignore any explanation that isn't their own. At that point we're arguing with someone who just wants to hear their own voice and has selectively tuned out all other voices just for the sake of argument.

I suggest a boycott of all articles which are spun to involve global warming or the creation of the universe. Let's stick to the real issue. In this case the real issue is who funded the project before and why they really dropped funding. None of this hand-waving "blame the religious fanatics" bunk.

earth to the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14093819)

HA HAHA AHHAHAHA HAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA, wheez,HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA HHAHAHAH AHA, sorry, i'm laughing with you, sorry again, i can't think of comment here that would be anything but a troll. but to me, this situation occuring at all is a troll against modern society and against the rest of the earth. and for the record, i'm not american, i'm canadian, i also was planning on moving to the US years ago, but your crazy country just keeps going down the tubes faster like its building up momentum. hopefully things will change for you, i hope, i am under the impression that by the next generation of americans, US may slip has a world power, the lack of education and tech no how will certainly be a barrier towards maintaining that #1 world power status that you currently hold.
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